Dear Mr Vander
Thank you for your email and letter and for postponing publication of your finding.
I appreciate your explanation as to why Richard Tait can see no grounds for the Committee to reconsider its view. Yet there still appears to be a misunderstanding about the major inaccuracy of the programme. The ESC was satisfied that the comments by Tipu Aziz and Caroline Lacey were ‘interpretable’ and did not amount to inaccuracy. But their comments were not the issue of complaint.
The key issue of complaint was that deep brain stimulation was discovered in people, not monkeys, and therefore the programme was inaccurate because its premise was that this advance resulted from experiments on monkeys. That the discovery was made in people is an unequivocal fact, which the ESC cannot simply dismiss as my ‘view.’ Claiming that the discovery was made in monkeys, as the programme did, constitutes an unambiguous breach of the BBC’s guideline on accuracy, which states: ‘We should not distort known facts, present invented material as fact, or knowingly do anything to mislead audiences.’
The programme was undeniably built on a falsehood and this was the subject of our appeal – yet the ESC has still not addressed this complaint. Although I am disappointed with the Committee’s decision, I am even more disappointed that the Committee simply refused to engage with the substance of our complaint.